Visual Arts News Digest, Compiled by the Vancouver Art Gallery Library, June 14, 2017


Burnaby Art Gallery marks 50 years.  The new exhibition commemorating Burnaby Art Gallery’s anniversary has been curated by Ellen van Eijnsbergen and Jennifer Cane, and it features master works from the City of Burnaby’s permanent art collection. Included in the exhibition are historic works by European masters Francisco Goya and Rembrandt van Rijn, as well as contemporary works by top B.C. artists, including Susan Point, Bill Reid, Gordon Smith and Jack Shadbolt.  Burnaby Now, June 11, 2017


Chili Thom works on display in month-long celebration of late artist  Six months after Thom died of cancer at the age of 40, Arts Whistler is dedicating the month of June to The Chili Thom Experience with more than a dozen events focused on different elements of his work.   The month-long celebration will include screenings of Thom’s films, gallery shows, interactive art workshops and exhibits.  CBC, June 11, 2017


Luminato receives $600,000 donation to give boost to emerging artists . Luminato has received a gift of $600,000 spread over three years for projects involving emerging artists.  Anthony Sargent, the annual Toronto arts festival’s CEO, says it’s a sign that key supporters are excited not just about a particular show but about the contribution Luminato as a whole makes to the city.   Globe & Mail, June 8, 2017.  See also: Luminato director touts a new collaborative spiritToronto Star, June 10, 2017

Leanne Betasamosake Simpson and Jarrett Martineau: In Conversation.  In September 2016, Leanne Betasamosake Simpson released her second full-length album, f(l)ight, shortly after the launch of Jarrett Martineau’s new Indigenous music label, RPM Records. The frequent collaborators and longtime friends recently interviewed one another, conversing openly about creative kinship, defining Indigenous art, defying colonial categorization and the nuances of refusal Picking album art wasn’t just a matter of finding a visual image that embodies what I was doing on the record. It involved meeting a visual artist and working with their experience of the record to come up with their own artistic visual interpretation of my work.  Another visual component of this record has been the videos.  Canadian Art, June 12, 2017


Photographing the Artist’s Studio—More Than 100 Times Over. Starting June 17 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, “Joseph Hartman: The Artist’s Studio” features large-scale photographs of studios belonging to some of Canada’s most well-known contemporary artists—including Robert Davidson, Mary Pratt, John Scott and Duane Linklater.  Canadian Art, June13, 2017


New York artist’s masterpiece depicts Quebec’s shaping of Canada.  On Saturday evening, some lucky New Yorkers attended a sneak preview of the latest work by figurative painter Adam Miller — a new masterpiece in the style of the Old Masters that is sure to become a lightning rod for debate in Quebec’s political, academic and artistic communities when it comes to Montreal this fall.  The piece, titled simply “Quebec,” was privately commissioned by Salvatore Guerrera, a Montreal patron of the arts who wanted to mark Canada’s 150th and Montreal’s 375th birthdays by commissioning a monumental work of art that would celebrate the role of Quebec in shaping Canada.  Montreal Gazette, June 12, 2017


Re: collection opens the vaults at Confederation Centre Art Gallery. The summer exhibition Re: collection at Confederation Centre Art Gallery in Charlottetown will feature more than a half century of building a Canadian art collection in Charlottetown.  CBC, June 13, 2017

Artist painting massive mural inside Confederation Centre of the Arts. Brooklyn, N.Y., based artist Eleanor King is on P.E.I. this month working on an original piece for the Confederation Centre Art Gallery.  The Nova Scotia native was commissioned by the Centre to produce a large-scale mural inspired by the landscapes of Prince Edward Island.  CBC, June 12, 2017

New York

Amid Scandal and Cutbacks, the Met Names Daniel Weiss President and CEO.  New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, an institution seeking stability at a time of financial cutbacks and a scandal involving its current director, has promoted interim director Daniel H. Weiss to the position of president and chief executive officer. The museum continues to search for a new director to replace Thomas Campbell, who announced his resignation in February and will leave at the end of June.  Artnet News, June 13, 2017

United States

What Mr. Bean teaches us about the American museum patron.  If the movie “Bean” has taught us anything (and what hasn’t it taught us really?), it’s that American museums and the museum-going public will line up, go out of its way, to view something spectacular, whether there’s much in the way of educational value… We want spectacle. We want to see an artwork, even just one focal work, that has been hyped, that we’ve heard about, that dazzles… So what do you as a curator do when the material in your collection is more interesting than spectacular? To find out, I spoke to several prominent names in the field.  Salon, June 11, 2017


Can you separate the artist from the art?  Tate Britain’s current Queer British Art exhibition, which includes the work of the writer and collagist Kenneth Halliwell, is just one of a recent spate of exhibitions and film screenings that might prompt you to ask this question afresh. In 1967, in the tiny one-room flat the couple shared in north London, Halliwell bludgeoned his partner, the playwright Joe Orton, to death, before ending his own life… Halliwell is generally viewed sympathetically by writers and filmmakers who’ve documented his and Orton’s life together…   One artist whose work is of far greater importance than Halliwell’s is the minimalist sculptor Carl Andre. He is still alive and has never been short of major museum shows. Andre was married to the artist Ana Mendieta until her death in 1985, in what many still regard as suspicious circumstances. Mendieta fell to her death from the couple’s high-rise apartment in New York, and in 1988 Andre was acquitted of second-degree murder.  Despite the acquittal, Andre’s exhibitions have been dogged by protests by feminist activists and fellow artists.   BBC, June 13, 2017


Art-Fair Economics: Why Small Galleries Do Art Fairs Even When They Don’t Make Money.  As the middle market shrinks, many dealers are finding they can’t afford to do fairs—but they can’t afford not to, either. “It’s very hard to estimate what the revenue will be, so a gallery’s decision to do a fair is highly uncertain,” says Olav Velthuis, a professor at the University of Amsterdam who specializes in economic sociology. “People don’t realize that fairs are loss leaders for many small galleries.” Artnet News, June 13, 2017


Animal rights activists attack Documenta 14 artist’s studio.  Animal-rights campaigners smashed windows and threw blue paint on the work space of Aboubakar Fofana in Athens, where the Malian artist is participating in the Greek leg of Documenta 14 (until 16 July). The anonymous assailants had previously disrupted the artist’s performance, which featured live sheep, in the Greek capital in late April.  The Art Newspaper, June 13, 2017


With 7.5 Million Visitors, National Museum of China Beat Louvre as 2016’s Most Popular Museum.  The most attended museum in the world last year was Beijing’s National Museum of China, according to a new report published by the international nonprofit Themed Entertainment Association in collaboration with engineering company AECOM.  Hyperallergic, June 13, 2017


Sydney Art Museum Receives Big Funding Boost.  After four years of uncertainty and controversy, a proposed expansion to Sydney’s premier art museum, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, has received a major boost with a local grant of 244 million Australian dollars (about $184 million).  The expansion, called Sydney Modern, will also help the city catch up to its chief rival, Melbourne, as a destination for great art, and help prevent it from missing out on both exhibitions and gifts of art for want of adequate space, in the view of supporters of the project.  New York Times, June 13, 2017



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